Results of the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress tell that more than one-third of 4th graders (and an even higher number of at-risk students) read so poorly they cannot complete their schoolwork successfully. It is critical to start early if children are to develop the skills they need to be successful. Research evidence confirms the strong connection between early skill development and later reading success. The challenge for state and local policymakers is to understand how to use these findings to promote an early literacy agenda that can help everyone learn to read proficiently. This resource can help policymakers make informed decisions about early literacy policies and practices that will give young children a good start in reading. This resource can help policymakers learn about: (1) Research findings about early literacy and its connection to future academic success; (2) Legislative policies that can improve learning standards, curriculum and teacher quality; and (3) Ways to support systemic change in state and local preschool education.